Story Land & Sea®

Story's Small Group tour of Spain begins in Madrid and ends in Barcelona.

The Best of Spain Tour

Small Group Tour of Spain
& Her Great Cities

Slow Travel through Spain with Time to Enjoy the Journey

Story Land & Sea®'s Best of Spain Tour features wild, beautiful and contradictory landscapes, villages and cities. From Roman relics and Muslim palaces to baroque cathedrals and daring modern city centers, Spain boast a dazzling blend of civilization, culture and color. This small group itinerary is a treasure chest of cultural jewels that stretch across a wide palette.

Unique Itinerary
Every day is unique. It's all about the colorful life! We'll see fiery flamenco bailaors swirl in flounces of red, wind along emerald green mountains that seem to tumble into the wild blue Atlantic, and stroll through whitewashed villages huddled under 500-year old red-tiled roofs. Spain seems to be a country that has a thousand different countries within. Wherever you look, Roman arches and Arab filigree meet, creating a colorful, eclectic mash of centuries. The Spanish put their heart and soul into everything they do. They may be the world's most sociable people. Meals are celebrations. Art is passionate. The sun is hot. And the flamenco from Spain is very cool.

  • Spain & Portual Tours
  • Tours of Spain
  • Travel to Spain
  • Spanish Landmarks
  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Portugal & Spain Vacation

Best of Spain: Begins in Madrid

Day 1: Trans-Atlantic flight to Europe.
Depart Your Home Airport on your Transatlantic flight to Madrid.
Your international flight is not included. Inquire for special fare and service from our Air Service department.

NOTE: Please Note: "Day 1" is the published tour date and is the date you will arrange your air travel to depart your home airport. Your Small Group Tour will commence on Itinerary Day 2 upon arrival in Madrid, Spain.

Can we help you with your Airfare? Yes, we can arrange your air travel from the Story Land & Sea®  air department. We'll work with you to get the absolutely lowest fare available based on your travel preferences. We utilize both our own air department and online agencies to find the best rate. At the end of the tour you should set your flight to return from Madrid (MAD). Or if you are extending to Barcelona, then you should set your flight to return from there (BCN).

Remember, airfare is a completely separate arrangement from your land tour. It is your responsibility to arrive at the point of tour origination (Madrid, Spain) on time regardless of whether Story Land & Sea® has arranged your air.

Protect Your Vacation: We very much encourage trip cancellation and interruption insurance.  

Welcome to Madrid


Day 2: Madrid
   Story Way® Dining: Enjoy our Included Welcome Dinner

Your Small Group Tour Vacation to Europe is underway!

Your flights will likely be set up to arrive today. After transferring to the hotel (see optional arrival transfer option or make your own way to the hotel), check-in, freshen up and explore your surroundings.

One of Story Land & Sea®'s most popular True Small-Group® tour vacations commences this afternoon at our Deluxe hotel located in the heart of Madrid.

After your bags are stored securely (rooms aren't ready until 3pm), you will have free time until we meet later today to begin our adventure through Madrid with our local expert guide. The capital of Spain since 1561, Madrid is a beautifully modern city with a truly old heart. On this privately guided walking tour, we'll enjoy a walk through the Puerta del Sol and a guided tour of the Royal Palace. Then enjoy our Unique Perspectives Experience at Plaza Mayor with your Tour Captain. The sights, scents and tastes of the San Miguel Market are also a highlight.

Walking Level: Light, Leisurely Pace. Volume: Light

Your Small Group Tour Vacation to Spain is underway! After our reception, we'll walk to our Welcome Dinner in Madrid.

food icon   Included Story Way® Dining: The Story Land & Sea® Way of Dining debuts as you join your Tour Captain for the Welcome Dinner in Madrid. Experience what can only be described as a night of the best cuisine and vino from the region.

About The Story® Way of Dining
Our approach to dining is truly unique: Our favorites dishes represent the region we're traveling through. We call this 'speaking the language of your food.' From our unique, off-the-beaten-path restaurants we visit for each included dinner to the variety of hand-crafted dishes, it's truly an immersion into authentic Spanish cuisine paired with Spanish wine. Your Tour Captain is there to make sure your dining experience goes smoothly and will help you interpret any menu item. For the 5 total included dinners, your Tour Captain will select a variety of appetizers, featuring regional cuisine, and will select your wine for the evening ~ a variety of red and white wine from the region in which you're traveling ~ and yes, "the wine does flow." It's an intentionally slow evening of delight so you can savor the experience in the local culture. Bienvenidos!


Cordoba Mezquita

Day 3: City of Three Cultures

Today, you will experience our adventure through Toledo with our local expert guide.

It's a comprehensive look at Spain's past when Arabs, Jews and Christians all lived and worked side by side. Toledo is one of the Spanish cities with the greatest wealth of monuments. Known as the “city of the three cultures,” because Christians, Arabs and Jews lived together there for centuries, behind its walls.

Toledo preserves an artistic and cultural legacy in the form of churches, palaces, fortresses, mosques and synagogues. This great diversity of artistic styles makes the old quarter of the capital of Castile - La Mancha a real open-air museum, which has led to it being declared a World Heritage Site.

We transfer from Madrid to Toledo for the day and return in the mid afternoon for the balance of your day at leisure.

The afternoon is designed to allow you the freedom to explore more of this fascinating city on your own. A day to discover the amazing art museums such as the Prado, the Theissen, or the Reina Sofia with Picasso's Guernica as its main feature. You could visit the Templo de Debod, an ancient Egyptian Temple rebuilt in Madrid, or stroll in the beautiful Parque del Ritiro, Madrid's gorgeous city park. Your Tour Captain is ready, willing and able to assist you with anything you might have in mind to insure that this day is uniquely your own.

Optional dining tonight: Join our Tour Captain for an optional dinner in Madrid or explore at leisure.


Cordoba Mezquita

Day 4: Unhurried Beauty

    Story Way® Dining: Join our Tour Captain for a dinner in Cordoba.

Train to Cordoba
Enjoy a hearty breakfast and we're off for our leisurely train ride to Cordoba. We arrive Cordoba around the noon hour and enjoy a enjoy an orientation walk with your Tour Captain, with time for lunch on your own built in.

Cordoba is an unhurried city, known for its abundant courtyards (or patios as they are called locally), flowers dangling from balconies and narrow winding streets. There will be plenty of time at leisure this afternoon to explore this amazing city at your own pace. We check-in to our luxury hotel before meeting for our welcome dinner.

Included Story Way® Dining: Join the Tour Captain for dinner in Cordoba tonight.


Cordoba~Immersion with the Mezquita

Day 5: Cordoba

This morning we are set to explore Cordoba with our Local Expert Guide. 

Enjoy a tour of the La Mezquita (Spanish for the word, mosque), and discover the building's 1200 year history. It has served as a meeting place for Christians, a Moorish mosque, and since the 1500s, a Roman Catholic cathedral.

Your afternoon will be at leisure designed intentionally for you to enjoy more of this amazing city. Choose to indulge yourself with some of the wonderful Spa treatments offered by our luxurious 5-Star hotel. Enjoy!

Optional dining tonight with the Tour Captain.


Granada ~ Beauty for the Eyes

Day 6: Granada

    Story Way® Dining: Join the Tour Captain for a delightful dinner in one of the most amazing places in all of Granada.

This morning are bound for Granada. Boasting one of the most magnificently positioned palaces in the world, the Alhambra. We will make a stop this morning near Priego de Cordoba for an Oil oil tasting. Priego de Cordoba, a 90-minute drive into the mountains southeast of Cordoba, is a picturesque town in a major olive oil region with half a dozen important mills, known as Al Masara in Arabic.

Cordoba is proud of its olive oil and nowhere more so than Priego, which like wine has its own regional denomination and is considered the best in Spain.

The age of the olive trees varies from 40 to 200. The 16,000 trees are spread over 170 hectares (420 acres) and carefully spaced to provide enough soil to nourish each one, creating a dotted patchwork over the hillsides.

We then continue on to Granada. It is as wondrous to behold from across the gorge, with the white peaks of the Sierra Nevada glinting behind in the sun, as it is to examine close at hand, with its elaborate symbolic designs. The city has a fascinating history, which can still be seen today in Granada ́s carmens and Arab baths.

Upon arrival into the city we will set out for a wonderful orientation walk and take time for lunch, at guest expense, in the city center before checking into our centrally located hotel.

Story Way® Dining: Tonight, enjoy our Unique Perspectives Experience with your Tour Captain at our welcome dinner in Granada.

Walking Level: Light, Leisurely Pace; Volume: Light  


The Alhambra in Granada, Ferdinand & Isabella
Italy's Lake Como

Day 7: Granada Sightseeing Immersion

This morning we slow the pace allowing for you to relax and enjoy the morning at leisure.

After lunch we set out to explore Granada and the Alhambra.

We start with a look around town culminating in the magnificent fortress that crowns the city where we'll meet our local expert guide for our tour.

We enjoy a walking tour of the Palace, the massive grounds, and the spectacular water gardens of the Generalife. The grounds were used in the 1300's as the Islamic Sultan's vacation retreat. Soak in impressive views of the Old Quarter and Sacromonte, a mountain occupied by Gypsy cave dwellers, and other notables on the skyline.

Join our Tour Captain for an optional dinner in Granada.


Ronda & Seville

Day 8: Ronda & on to Seville

Today, we'll take the road less traveled, making our way eventually to Seville. Our route today will take us for a nice stop in the town of Ronda, the birthplace of modern bullfighting and one of the last beacons of the Muslim world. This fairytale setting dating back to Roman times, has attracted the likes of Ernest Hemingway, who based For Whom the Bell Tolls on this city, as well as Orson Welles, whose ashes are buried on a bull farm just outside of town. The interior of the Andalucía provides for memorable images we have as we continue our journey through Spain.

Hemingway called Ronda the most romantic city in Spain. Its location above the surrounding countryside above steep cliffs is dramatic. We will travel through the sunbaked watershed of the Rio Guadalquivir Basin, the same river that Columbus and Magellan sailed from. The rolling hills are punctuated by old farming estates. Some have viewing towers, and others are even outlined in tiles or mosaics in the colors of ochre, blue and brick red.

We'll arrive into Seville mid-afternoon, plenty of time to check into our fantastic 5-Star hotel in the heart of the city to catch our breath and venture out for a walkabout before an optional dinner.

Optional dining tonight with the Tour Captain.


Seville ~ Columbus | Royal Palace

Day 9: The Beautiful Colors of Seville

   Story Way® Dining: Flamenco Show & Dinner Tonight

You’ll have a wonderful Spanish breakfast this morning and then meet our local guide, who will accompany us to relive the drama of Carmen as we explore this historical city. Seville's city tour embraces its ancient Roman history, conquest by the Moors and contribution to the discovery of the New World. Like all old cities built haphazardly over the centuries, walking around Seville is a dream, and most probably one of Europe's most beautiful places. Its alleys twist and turn, and sometimes the tiny courtyards feature an orange or a lime tree bursting with vivid color.

As we pick through the narrow lanes of the charming city, we'll view Columbus' tomb in the Cathedral, the world's largest Gothic edifice. Then we're on to the Alcázar, the longest inhabited royal palace in Europe and a marvel of Moorish-style architecture.The variety of small palaces that make it up is amazing. The stucco work and the Mudejar ceilings are simply beautiful. The tiles on the walls are some of the most beautiful tiles ever made in Spain or anywhere. The huge gardens are marvelous and a joy to discover.

Then on to its Giralda Bell Tower, which was once the minaret of a 12th-century mosque, with views of all of Seville.

Tonight we'll take in a traditional Flamenco Show and Included Dinner.

Exclusive Flamenco Show & Dinner Included: We'll take in the passion and seduction of the art-form known as the Flamenco. A show is Included with our dinner. Flamenco is an art form that was born, and thrives, here in Spain. Spanish flamenco is the best because Spaniards start dancing when they can barely walk, and they dance everyday. The stomping of the feet, the twirling of the body, and the drama of the music are simply part of their culture.


Experiencing Barcelona - Magical City

Madrid, Spain

Day 10: Seville to Barcelona

Today we make our way to the Seville airport for the required on-tour air flight to Barcelona. This may occur in the morning or afternoon (see final documents for details - your Tour Captain will also manage all the logistics this day).

Upon arrival we will we transferred to our fantastic city center hotel, check-in and set out with the Tour Captain for an informative city orientation walkabout.

OPTIONAL DINNER TONIGHT ~ Join our Tour Captain for an optional dinner in Barcelona. May we suggest a Tapas Crawl tonight led by your Tour Captain.


Barcelona Sightseeing Immersion

Day 11: Barcelona

   Story Way® Dining: Tonight we invite you to join us for an equally magical evening of fun and merriment as we enjoy our Farewell feast together at a local favorite restaurant.

After breakfast, meet our guide in lobby and enjoy a sightseeing excursion of Barcelona including:

  • We drive to Montjuïc Hill to take in the Olympic Site with spectacular panoramic views of the city. Enjoy our walking immersion of Barcelona with:
    • We enjoy the Placa de Espanya and the 1929 World Fair grounds
    • Passeig de Gràcia: Barcelona's most elegant avenue with Gaudí's Batlló and Milà Houses
    • Holy Family church —  Enjoy admission to the Sagrada Familia, Guell Park and highlights of Gaudi's handiwork

We are transported by vehicle but we also enjoy walking through the very heart of Barcelona.

Included Story Way® Dining: Farewell Experience tonight with your Tour Captain. Tonight we invite you to join us for an equally magical evening of fun and merriment as we enjoy our Farewell feast together at a local favorite restaurant. Celebrate new friends, our journey together and dream of the next chapter of your Story of Travel!


Departure Day

Day 12: Barcelona Departure

Inquire about departure transfers.

Catch your flight home from Barcelona or Extend Your Adventure. Until we meet again, may your days be full of discovery and your nights full of good friends. Or are you extending to the exciting city of Paris? or some other exotic destination...inquire with reservations for details.

### END of TOUR ### .


Heart of City Hotels mean your experience is like none other in the travel industry.

There is a difference between centrally-located hotels and Story Land & Sea's Heart of City hotels. No taxis or shuttles required when you're in the historical heart of the cities and villages.

Our small group Italy tour hotels feature historical architecture with all the amenities you'd come to expect. The properties are located in the heart of the cities, towns and villages. We proudly feature the following Spain tour hotels which have been personally inspected for quality and standard. On very rare occasion, we may substitute any Spain hotel with a Spain tour property of equal or greater quality and standard.

Remember, availability in tour hotels may be affected based on seasonal demand. Alternate hotel properties of equal quality will be used when the following hotels are not available.


Madrid Hotel - 2 Nights

Cordoba Hotel - 2 Nights

Granada Hotels - 2 Night

Seville Hotels - 2 Nights

Barcelona Hotel - 2 Nights

What's Included in Your Small Group Tour?

Something for everyone... Whether you're a "first-timer" to Spain or have visited many times, we invite you to join us for this exciting tour program. For one set price, you'll be staying in first-class accommodations in each city and have the experience of local, English-speaking tour guides. You'll have a chance to visit all the major, "must-see" sites, plus enough free time on your own to visit the places that really matter to you...or, you can simply enjoy that time relishing your first taste of Spanish tapas -it's entirely up to you. 

Slow & Small Spain Tour: The Delightful Inclusions

Helpful information to better your preparation for your world-class journey through Spain. From weather and clothing recommendations to currency and excursion details, it's all right here.

We've tried to include everything on the journey, however, make note of the following:
  • ARRIVING MADRID —  Consider Our Driver 
    Our AnyTime Arrival Transfer with professional chauffeur into Madrid: We feature Story Land & Sea®'s Madrid Meet & Greet with driver to the hotel. $79/person, 2 Guest Minimum. Includes all gratuities.
  • LEAVE THE WORRY TO US —  We can arrange your departure transfer to the airport in Barcelona.
    Departure Transfers: $79 per person, Barcelona Hotel to Airport, minimum two (2) guests.
    Our delightful included experience is at a sherry venue with some stunning art work to boot.
    Our itinerary includes a dramatic experience with cuisine as we enjoy a variety of included dinners. Daily breakfast is included. Our Tour Captains and Guides will offer great, affordable suggestions for delicious lunches and optional dinners.
  • Story Land & Sea® WAY DINING INCLUDED —  5 Great Dinners
    5 incredibly unique dinners at authenic Spanish restaurants (not tourist traps) are included. Our Tour Captains will invite you to join them to dinner at authentic restaurants each and every night, though you may choose to explore on your own. Deluxe: 5 of 8 dinners included.
    Expert, local Spanish guides in per itinerary. They speak English well, and possess a passion for sharing Spain with our guests.
    World-class sightseeing 'Immersion' ~ Story Land & Sea®'s approach to exploring the local scene while integrating lasting experiences that reflect culture and leave you, the traveler, changed for good!
  • Airfare is not included but it can be quoted by emailing here.
  • Trip Interruption and Cancellation Insurance is not included. We highly recommend to protect your vacation. 

    Remember, you are responsible to arrive at the point of your small group Spain tour origination.
     If you are delayed for any reason, your vacation may be at risk even ifStory Land & Sea® made your airfare arrangements. Airfare is a completely separate booking from your Spain land tour vacation. You can cancel your vacation with a 100% refund up to 90 days prior to departure. Within 90 days you will begin receiving penalties per the terms of the Tour Application should you have to cancel.

That's it ~ everything else excluding personal item purchases is included.

Included sightseeing and excursions

Story Land & Sea®'s Unique Walking Tour Experience
We do walk on our small group tours of Spain. We walk a lot, but it's unhurried and there are ample opportunities to sit and relax. But you must be physically capable of walking and experiencing the many stairs of Spain. Please inquire with Story Land & Sea® Reservations for more details.


Best of Spain Tour
Dates & Rates

2017 Guaranteed Departures.

Enjoy small group touring from 6 to 16 guests.
Guaranteed departures with official Story Tour Captain®.
Inquire for your departure. Take over a tour departure: This itinerary may be ran privately for you or your group.

Published Date Deluxe
On-Tour Air
Departures in May - June 2017:
May is the preferred time to travel to Spain in spring-summer with crowd volumes not as great as that of summer.
May 9
$5,779 $265
May 30
$5,779 $265
June 15
$5,779 $295
Departures in July-Sep 2017:
September is the next most-preferred and popular time to travel to Spain. Crowd volumes are not as great and the weather is good, though still can be quite warm in early October.
Sep 19
$5,779 $295
Departures in October 2017
Oct 10
$5,779 $265
2018 Guaranteed Departures.

Enjoy small group touring from 6 to 16 guests.
Guaranteed departures with official Story Tour Captain®.
Inquire for your departure. Take over a tour departure: This itinerary may be ran privately for you or your group.

Published Date Deluxe
On-Tour Air
Departures in May - June 2018:
May is the preferred time to travel to Spain in spring-summer with crowd volumes not as great as that of summer.
May 12
$5,779 $265
June 8
$5,779 $265
Departures in July-Sep 2018:
September is the next most-preferred and popular time to travel to Spain. Crowd volumes are not as great and the weather is good, though still can be quite warm in early October.
Sep 15
$5,779 $295
Departures in October 2018
Oct 10
$5,779 $295



Get Started Here:




What questions do you have?: